THE cost of dying in Scotland is rocketing after councillors agreed big increases in charges for burials and cremations.
Edinburgh Council has put up the cost of an adult burial from £920 to £957.
The council buries around 600 people a year – meaning they will rake in an extra £22,000 a year from that increase alone.
The charge for cremation is also going up, from £619 to £644.
Critics of the fee hikes complained that even the capital’s dead cannot “escape the clutches of the local authority”.
Cash-strapped Edinburgh is putting charges up across the board, including increasing parking to £3-an-hour.
The new charges will be introduced on April 1, the start of the new financial year.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Hiking funeral charges is adding pressure on families dealing with bereavement and is a shameless way of councils raising money.
“Town halls need to focus on making long-term savings as taxpayers pay enough tax when they are alive without forking out more just to rest in peace.”
He added: “It’s unbelievable that even when you’re dead you can’t escape the clutches of the local authority.”
Councillor Alasdair Rankin said: “This budget overall is inflation neutral in almost every way.
“We could have increased charges by more, but we chose not to.”
Despite the increases, Glasgow remains the most expensive place to die in Scotland, with costs for burial and a lair up to £1,903.
Revenue raised by the city from burials has jumped from £1.44m in 2009 to £2.1m in 2011.
Last year, South Lanarkshire was accused of “cashing in on the dead” after it emerged it charged more than double for a burial plot compared with North Lanarkshire.
South Lanarkshire charges £839 for a burial plot, a whopping 70% rise on the £349 fee in place at the start of 2011.
North Lanarkshire charges £430 for a burial plot.